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Nutritional benefits past one yr?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I am trying to find articles and research that supports bf'ing past one year for nutritional benefits, I've search LLLI's articles (allbeit very briefly) and haven't found what I was looking for. I'm wondering how much fat breastmilk has in it past a year, I know that baby benefits from increased immunity but what are the other benefits? Ds is one and I'm starting to get pressure from dh and his family to wean and at times I think it would nice, I hear that you get your memory back but I will do what's best for my child. Plus by having more information that supports it I will share it with my in-laws & dh and they can decide for themselves if they will support me or not.

Ds's weight has not been gaining like it should, he has some food allergies (milk, corn and food sensitivities to rice, & soy), I'm thinking about potato milk but it doesn't have a lot of fat in it so does my milk have more fat or what are it's nutritional components? Any good resources? Or is nursing past a year just more for comfort?

post #2 of 11
Hi - I've posted this link before, but it was ages ago, and perhaps on another forum...It's always worth giving it again.


This is a great site in general - well worth having a look around. I know what you mean about wanting to have all your 'facts' to present to the doubters around you - good luck!

post #3 of 11
That link is excellent. Thanx Carolyn I like to have facts to quote.

My nursing toddler is now 15 months old. She eats solids but not that much really & mainly lives on breast milk. She is petite, but I think that is natural & genetic & OK. She is plump & very active & healthy. so I am guessing most of what she gets to make her grow still comes from the bm. I know the content of bm changes as the baby gets older, but I can't see how it would suddenly become effectively white water once the baby hits 1. I think anthropologically ( big word - hopefully I've spelt it right ) we are supposed to nurse for about 6 years, which to me means that breast milk is a valuable food source until that time.
post #4 of 11
My LLL leader passed out a breakdown of the fat, protein etc in infant and toddler human milk as well as cows milk. I can't find it just now but if I come across it on their website I will put a link here. Someone around here is responsible for one of my favorite quotes, "What do they think? Aftr a year your milk turns to koolaid?"

It's still the most perfect food for your baby and it is still helping to prevent allergies. If your child is already showing signs of allergies, what better way to help him out?! It is also great 'nutritional insurance' for times when they don't feel well, are teething, etc and don't eat well.

One other thing... you comment that 'his weight has not been gaining like it should,'... unless he is losing weight or has leveled off completely he is probably fine. Don't get stressed by the size charts the doctors use. They are based on FF babies from the 50's, most of whom were on solids from about 3 months on... they are not neccesarily healthier, just bigger.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the responses so far. I like your signature quote kama'aina mama . He actually did level off at 8 mo.s I believe at 20 lbs. (which I was quite proud of at the time ) and continued to be 20 lbs until a few weeks ago (for 3+ mo.s). He's now 21.8. We went through the stomach flu 2 weeks ago (lost 1.5 lbs) and I was so glad that I was nursing still, that's the only way he wasn't dehydrated.

One day dh had him for an extended period of time (longer than I had wanted him to be out) and I actually felt engorged on one side (which hasn't happened for months) so I pumped to relieve and keep the production going and I did notice that there wasn't very much fat any more in my milk. Hence, my original inquiry as to the fat content of human milk. I definitely agree with the fact that people/babies just naturally do nurse past a year...I'm just wondering if it's more of a comfort thing or if it's a nutritional thing as well. Thanks for the link and hopefully I'll get a few more comments on this as well.
post #6 of 11
Also, if you nurse longer than a year, the nutrition and protection against illness is at an age (for your nursling) when infections are common in children. And you continue to get the benefits of EBF, by lowering your chance of breast cancer. My ds was and still is very petite. He was a full term baby, but weighed only 5 lbs. 14 oz. at birth (I'm petite) and at 1 yo he weighed 18 lbs. He has always been on the low end of the charts, but very healthy. And like another mom mentioned, the charts are for ff babies. During their first year, babies gain weight faster than they do after they turn 1 yo.


post #7 of 11
So glad to hear about some more "petite" babies! Ds was 18lbs3oz at 12 months, got pneumonia at 13.5 months and was 18lbs 1oz, was then 20lbs 5 oz at 14 months, got a stomach virus and was down to 18lbz5oz. Then was 19Lbs8oz two weeks later. He hasn't been weighed since, but I worry all the time (no thanks to our pediatircian who forgot last time that ds had lost weight due to illness ) Anyway, he still lives on mostly breastmilk and a solid here and there (today he ate a few raisins and two graham crackers). From my understanding, breastmilk changes to meet the changing needs of your child. I also think it is not abnormal for babies to slow their rate of gain once they begin to be really mobile. I don't have anymore information to add, other than my gut instinct, which is that, since the world median age to wean is 4.2, it must be nutritional as well as emotional. And, as you pointed out, there is much to be said about staying hydrated with breastmilk! In fact, my mom and MIL always comment on ds being "thirsty".
post #8 of 11
It's actually very normal for BF babes to get up to 3 times their birthweight by 9 mo and not gain any more until after a year (average to look for is double BW by 4 mo, triple by a year). This happened w/ my DS and my Dr didn't bat an eyelash, it was perfectly normal, and he was still in the 90th %!

Since our bodies were designed to subsist primarily on mother's milk for the first several years (there weren't blenders back 100 years ago, babies couldn't eat solids until they had the teeth for it, and usually not until they had their adult teeth), I figure exactly how they grow when being BFed is how they are supposed to!

Oh and your milk probably looked really skim because it's mostly foremilk if you're engorged. The fat gets reabsorbed the longer it sits in your breast, so you wouldn't get as much fat until the hind milk started letting down. A lot of times I would pump first thing in the morning after not nursing on one side all night and it'd be really skim, barely any fat fleating on top when it seperated. And don't get upset comparing human milk to cow's milk, they are totally different. Human milk is very high in lactose, cow's milk very high in fat. Like I said before, our bodies were designed to get what's in our mother's milk, so whatever you are making is exactly what he needs =)

OK, stepping off the soap-box
post #9 of 11
Don't forget to point out to all of those naysayers (is that a word?) that the World Health Organization recommends bf for two years MINIMUM. Maybe that will buy you some more time.
post #10 of 11
My dd has always been petite too. she was only 17 lbs at l year and it seemed like she stayed between 23-25 lbs for such a long time, i want to say until she was around 3. She is now a tall slim 5 1/2 year old 40 lb girl
post #11 of 11
Hey Firemom~

My ds is 5 1/2 and weighs 42 lbs!

Also FYI, there is a great article called "101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child". You can find it at www.promom.org/101


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